How to Make Terrines
Working over ice, assemble the terrine in layers of aspic -bound fillings and lay-in garnishes, allowing each layer of aspic to set slightly before applying the garnish.
Culinary Institute of America
Terrines, the shortened name of a dish known classically as pâté en terrine, are traditionally understood to be forcemeat mixtures baked in an earthenware mold with a tight-fitting lid. This preparation gets its name from its association with the material used to make the mold, once exclusively earthenware of unglazed clay, or terra cotta. Today, terrine molds are produced from materials such as stainless steel, aluminum, ceramic, enameled cast iron, ovenproof plastic, or glazed earthenware. These materials are more durable and more sanitary than the unglazed earthenware once favored by charcutières. Terrine molds also come in any number of shapes, including triangle, half-circle, and trapezoidal. These materials and shapes offer the garde manger chef an effective way to impress the guest.
Traditionally, terrines were served directly from the mold. Now it is more common to present terrines in slices. This improves the chef’s ability to control both the presentation and the portioning of the dish. This is clearly in the best interest of both the guest and the chef. In some special cases, however, terrines are still served in their molds. A terrine of foie gras, for instance, may be presented in a small decorative mold, accompanied by toasted brioche. Guests use a special service spoon or knife to serve themselves.
Today, some non-traditional terrines are also made by binding items such as roasted meats or poultry, roasted or grilled vegetables, poached salmon, or seared lamb loins with a little aspic, making them similar to a head cheese. Terrines made from layered vegetables can be bound with a custard or cheese.